OCILLA, GA (WALB) - There aren't many single-A programs in Georgia that can lose 16 seniors and still expect to contend for a state title.
The Irwin County Indians, however, may be one of the few exceptions.
The 2014 state runners-up lost 16 upperclassmen from last year's team, including the entire starting offensive line.
Head coach Buddy Nobles and his staff felt their team still had the talent to contend.
The Indians are ranked in the top 5 in some Class A polls. Nobles said the loss in the state title game is simply pushing this team to make it back to Atlanta.
"It lit a fire under our kids again to want to achieve more. "I've tried to tell them, ten years from now, they're going to look back and say that was a great year," said Nobles. "Right now, it hurts their heart. Time heals wounds, but we do make sure we cut it a little bit everyday and tell them 15-6."
15-6 was the score of the title game loss to Hawkinsville.
The Indians embarked on their journey back to the Georgia Dome Friday night at Early County.